[Decision Concerning AID Employees' Personal Use of Airline Credits Earned on Official Travel]

B-220542,B-220542.2,B-220542.3,B-220542.4,B-220542.5: Nov 16, 1987

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Five Agency for International Development (AID) employees appealed a determination that they were liable for the personal use of airline promotional mileage credits they earned on official travel, contending that they were unaware of any statutory prohibition against such use. Two of the employees also contended that they obtained agency approval before converting the credits for their own use. GAO held that the employees were liable for the full value of the tickets, since: (1) ignorance of the prohibition did not affect their liability; and (2) erroneous advice by agency officials did not prevent application of the prohibition. GAO noted that, since previous decisions did not address the use of bonus mileage credit for accommodation upgrades, AID was not required to collect the value of the upgrades. Accordingly, AID should collect the full value of the tickets.